Pack the Sunblock When You Whale Watch– For the Whales

Eco-Travel, Mexico, San Diego, Travel News — By John Curran on December 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Some environmentally friendly company will likely be able to put together some sort of sunscreen specially made for whales. It won’t be a moment too soon, according to some new research.

In the Gulf of California outside Baja, Mexico, scientists from the Zoological Society of London found that whale skin cells were damaged much like we get when we have a really bad sunburn, according to the Discovery News.

The problem for the whales that we love to see while we’re on cruises, or snorkeling, is that they can’t retreat under the shade when they’re hurting. “Whales need to come to the surface to breathe, to socialize and to feed their young, meaning that they are frequently exposed to the sun,” said Laura Martinez of the Institute of Zoology in London, in an interview with the paper.

For now, there aren’t many options to help with the whale’s program on the short-term basis. But one option for those who would normally use hairspray or other aerosols is to cut back on using them on your next vacation– it’s the CFC and other industrial solvents that are contributing to the thinning of the ozone layer, thus letting in more ultraviolet rays and burning those poor cetaceans.  When you come back, see if you can continue minimizing your use. Hairsprays and other personal hygiene products tend to dry out the skin and hair anyway, so the winter may be the best time to start.

[Image: Chensiyuan via Wikimedia]

Tags: global warming, Gulf of California, whale watching

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